So it seems that our beloved Springbok logo
is under threat yet again.
ANC member of parliament Strike Ralegoma insists
that the emblem must go. He states that “for successful transformation, all
national teams must play with a single emblem”.
He desperately wants the Protea
to replace the history-rich Bok mark. This comes hot on the heels of last
week’s announcement that Allister Coetzee will be the new Springbok coach,
where one of his mandates is to ensure increased numbers of non-white players
in the national team.
Dear Mr Ralegoma, please ‘strike’ this off
your wish-list and speak for yourself as I can assure you that the majority of
us want the logo to indeed stay on and continue its proud tradition of being
one of the most recognisable, famous and well-respected brands in the world. If
the late great Nelson Mandela embraced it and even wore it proudly on his heart
in 1995 then who on earth are you and some big-wigs to get rid of it? You will
not and cannot out-weigh the majority on this one.
Despite the narrow-minded individuals who
view it as the symbol of Apartheid only, the emblem is an extremely positive and
powerful metaphor in our country and dates all the way back to 1906. It was
even used by the South African Armed Forces during World War II. It is our
official national animal for goodness sake. Why destroy our heritage? Imagine
the monetary implications. Decline in revenues are guaranteed as nobody will
bother buying any national rugby related jerseys or paraphernalia any longer.
I would like to humbly ask you and the ANC
why are rugby and cricket constantly picked on more than any other sporting
code? If it is all about equal race representation then why are Bafana Bafana
also not hauled over the coals? I will not be surprised if individual sports
are soon interfered with as well. Will you ban Chad Le Clos from the Olympic
Games and replace him with someone of colour to ‘transform’ the swimming team?
As ridiculous as it sounds, I will not rule something so farcical out when the
ANC is involved. Do you not realize that black and coloured teams from the
1930s onwards also used this emblem proudly?
How about you transform the ruling party by
getting rid of Jacob Zuma first before something so trivial and unnecessary
such as this? I implore you and your mates to rather focus on more important
issues such as crime, education, health and so forth. Are you that bored that
you have to plough all your attention into sport when clearly sport and
politics do not mix! I see a bad case of double standards here in that you want
as many non-whites involved in the future team but then want the very essence
and symbol of the same team removed. Either you view it as a hangover from
Apartheid and oppose it in its entirety or you support rugby and the Springboks
whole-heartedly – you cannot have it both ways!
Imagine the great All Blacks name and fern
being removed in light of the Maori grievances of the past? Yes it is not the
same as Apartheid but that would simply signal the end of New Zealand rugby and
I foresee this happening with South Africa. If this does come to pass, I, along
with millions of others, will completely and sadly turn our backs on our
favourite sports team. What next, the green and gold to be changed? Where do we
draw the line?
The Boks have made the country proud more
than any other federation or local body (including 2 world championships) and
still get treated so unfairly. Even though we do chastise Saru as fans, my
sympathy does lie with them as they are placed under undue pressure by
government. I once again beg the politicians to kindly stay away from all
things sport. Majority of citizens of all colours and
creeds are proud of and love the Bok emblem. Please leave the Springbok logo
Dhirshan Gobind is a 30-something freelance sports
columnist/writer and a UKZN alumnus with a degree in Marketing Management. He
also has a tri-weekly column in ‘The Post’.
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